Tag Archives: amwriting

Excerpt – Everything Is Wonderful Now

‘Everything Is Wonderful Now’ is the last book I completed and had edited. It means a lot to me because it’s based on my childhood going into my current life, and is unapologetically honest about various kinds of abuse, mental illnesses, and one of the more unfortunate experiences of coming out as transgender. It’s the book I am currently hoping to get published, and I can’t stop trying no matter how discouraged I get until it happens in some way. This book is too close to my heart to give up on it, and it’s the story I’ve always wanted to tell.

Here is another excerpt from it — the entirety of chapter two. I posted another shorter preview on this blog a while back. I made a playlist for it to help inspire me, and you can find that here as well.

“I don’t want to be here anymore.”

The young girl stared at the ground, long blond hair falling in her face. She couldn’t look at her mother, but she didn’t know why. Her dad always said she should try harder to overcome what was bothering her inside, but she couldn’t conquer something she knew nothing about. She wasn’t sick. Her mom, Cathleen, made absolutely sure her doctor told her that even if he seemed concerned when he did.

“What do you mean, sweetie?” Cathleen finally focused on her daughter. She’d been engrossed in Jerry Springer — a rare chance since her husband was on the road for another few weeks at least.

The young girl shrugged and bit her lip, sighing. “I don’t know. I just don’t want to be here.” She glanced at her mom to see she was giving her ‘that’ look. The look she hated more than anything because it put her on the spot, and her cheeks burned hot with shame.

Cathleen smiled affectionately and patted the green sofa beside her. “Come here. You want to watch a movie? Princess Goblin? That’s your favorite, isn’t it?”

Sera fell onto the couch and stared at the floor. She didn’t want to watch cartoons or go through the usual routine. It was the best way her mom knew to distract her from panic attacks, but tonight Sera was calm. The serenity she’d found frightened her in some ways, but she couldn’t piece together an explanation that would make sense. All she knew was that she wanted to go to sleep and not wake up.

Sera mumbled as her mom brushed some of her hair aside, “The Princess and the Goblin.”

“Alright. Sit still.” Cathleen stood to open the VHS cabinet while Sera stared listlessly across the room. Their dog, Bear, a Chow, came shuffling in with her purple tongue hanging out, her perky ears and soft fluff bringing Sera a sign of comfort. Bear stole Cathleen’s spot and the young girl laid her head against a sandy-colored warmth. The familiar sound of the VCR accepting the tape resounded in the quiet room, save for the clock that struck midnight.

“Hey, mom?” Sera slid off the sofa as her mom returned with a bowl of macaroni and cheese.

“What’s wrong, sweetie?”

“Can I just go to bed?”

Concern washed over Cathleen’s features. “You don’t want to watch your favorite movie?”

Sera shook her head and made her way toward the dark hallway. Memories resurfaced of the last time she’d sleepwalked down it. Dream visions of a beautiful field of flowers beneath a blue sky had comforted her before she regained consciousness. Her hands were outstretched to touch the slatted white doors of the hall closet, and she fell to the floor. Out cold.

The girl shivered as a familiar panic threatened to shake her. She didn’t like uncomfortable memories because they only brought the possibility of it happening again, which wasn’t an option. She hurried the rest of the way to her small bedroom and closed the door behind her. She waited to see if her mom had followed, but it seemed she was finally alone. Which was the way it needed to be.

A large double speaker tape deck powered to life. Sera carefully selected one of her favorite cassette tapes — ‘Beautiful Garbage’ by Garbage — and dropped onto her metal frame twin bed. She closed her eyes and waited for the woeful tones of Shirley Manson to lull her to sleep, but no such sleep came. The day had worn her down so much that she was too tired to sleep. Silly.

A slight breeze rustled her collection of Spice Girls dolls. Sera sat up from where she’d been contemplating the best way to stop seeing anything at all, and she noticed nothing out of the ordinary. Maybe the wall shelves had come loose.

Another cold breeze. It was obvious that time.

The girl dived under her comforter and pulled it up to her nose. If she was certain of anything right then, it was that monsters did not dare to harm someone beneath the safety of their blanket. The closet door she made certain to always close creaked before a feeling of being watched alarmed her. Sera swallowed hard when the distinct sensation of a hand brushing over the comforter triggered trembling. Her blanket was yanked to the bottom of the bed and she was vulnerable. Left out for the monsters to consume.

“You’re pretty young, you know that?” A deep voice with a sarcastic lilt invaded the dark silence. When Sera sought out the source, a passing car’s headlights illuminated a reflective pair of golden horns.

“Mom!” The metallic bed frame knocked and clicked with the floral bulbs around the bars. Surely, that would’ve caused enough racket for Cathleen to come running, but it all came to a stop as the intruder leaned over Sera’s bed, his clawed hand wrapping around the metal frame to still it’s rattling.

“You don’t really want her to come in here right now, do you? I mean, the whole reason you’re here is to be left alone.”

Sera squeezed her eyes shut as the shaking caused her teeth to chatter. She couldn’t get a single word out to save her life, which was ironic considering her whole reason for seeking out a forever sleep.

“I’m not going to hurt you, chill.” The tall figure stepped back into the shadows to observe the shivering child. He hardly considered himself frightening, although to most humans, the sight of horns in the middle of the night with red eyes wasn’t exactly comforting. He was hardly the angel he once existed as, but he retained his shoulder-length blond hair and unearthly beauty. That didn’t matter to a kid, though. And that was why he never dealt with children. He should’ve never answered the call. “Alright, whatever. I’m not going to eat you, so go back to your self-destructive thoughts alone.”

As the being raised his fingers to snap, Sera found her courage. “Wait! What are you?”

The being sighed in frustration and twisted his hand in midair. The angst of Shirley Manson fell to a tolerable volume. “Aren’t you a bit young to be listening to that shit?”

Sera’s shivering slowed to a tremble as the sense of danger receded. Surely, this being would have harmed her by now if he’d meant to. “I — I like it.”

The figure spun back around to face the child who’d curled up with her knees to her chest. Her eyes were wide and her mind was buzzing at impossible speeds, so many thoughts turning into a cacophony that threatened to drive the being mad. It was another reason children were low on his list of humans to entertain. Their minds were wide open and they were too curious about everything. “Okay, whatever. Anyway, what’s your deal?”

“What?”

“What…” The being sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. “Why do you want to sleep forever?”

“Oh. I want to just go to sleep and live in my dreams.”

The being quirked a brow. Something else was surfacing in that tiny underdeveloped brain. It intrigued him. “You know that isn’t possible.”

Sera took a deep breath and stared at her knees, her fingers squeezing light denim. “Since I can walk while I’m sleeping and still be in a dream, why can’t I just have that happen all the time? There’s a way to do that, right?”

Understanding dawned on the being and he sobered. The red in his eyes ceased glowing and he sunk down onto the girl’s bed, crossing his legs. Her expression told of her confusion when she laid eyes upon him. He looked like a very tall man adorned in a white button-up shirt tucked into a pair of faded jeans. If it weren’t for his horns and strange eyes, she’d think him nothing more than an average person.

When their eyes met, he was unwavering in his attention. “You want to die. Why?”

The word hadn’t crossed her mind. She knew death meant to stop existing, but was that how people went away to live in their dreams? She’d never known anyone who’d died. “I think so, at least.”

“Why?” the figure pressed. “You’re ten years old. You’re barely out of the womb. What reason could you have to want to die?” He huffed. “You haven’t even suffered through puberty yet.”

Sera’s face scrunched in confusion. “Puberty?”

“Oh Hell. Listen, you’re way too young to be feeling whatever you’re feeling right now. I doubt you have a reason that’ll convince me you actually want to die.”

Sera reached for the remote to the small TV on her nightstand and switched it on, the Munsters drifting over the now barely audible Shirley Manson. “It’s too dark and I’m scared.”

The figure squinted as his eyes were invaded with light and snapped to turn off the stereo, the loop of the child’s thoughts combined with all the artificial noise too much for his short temper. “You didn’t answer me. Why do you want to die?”

Sera grew shy and grabbed her comforter to pull up to her chin. Her Winnie the Pooh security blanket was in her hands and she chewed on the silk edge. “I… don’t know.”

“Yes, you do. Why won’t you tell anyone the truth?”

The girl glanced at the figure. “Because no one will believe me. I told the principal at school what happened but I got blamed for it. I’m the one who got in trouble.”

The figure’s patience was gone. “What did you get in trouble for? What happened to make you want to call it quits?”

Sera dropped the blanket and grew somber as the memories hit her, and it was clear in the way her eyes glazed over. “At lunchtime, the boy I had a crush on found out I liked him because my friend told him. I was happy at first because I thought we could be friends, but he told me I was gross. Everyone started laughing at me and I got really sad and started crying.”

The figure’s attention turned to the hard floor that was covered by a decorative fuzzy carpet. “And then what?”

“Then I went to the principal’s office with my friend. I just wanted to go home, but the principal put me in a room alone with some tissues and said if I cried I’d feel better.”

“Human empathy at it’s finest,” the figure droned. “What did you get in trouble for?”

“I got in trouble because this girl in my class, Tracy, and some boys beat me up at recess. She bullies me all the time. My friend told the principal I started it and everyone lied and got me in trouble. So I got blamed even though I didn’t do anything. They believed my friends.”

“Those aren’t friends.” The figure stood and approached a white dresser with a large mirror. Beneath it was a row of small troll figures with gems in their belly buttons, their hair wild and in numerous colors. A clawed hand grabbed a green one that was supposed to be a costumed version of Frankenstein’s monster. The child certainly had an interesting mind full of strange curiosities from what he could catch, but there was a pain there as well that was underlying. It was more than a human of that age could be expected to carry, and there was much more than just being bullied at school and framed for it.

There were flashes of memories with a man’s face and a belt in his hands. Blackouts and irrational fears and illnesses — of the mind and body — and days spent in the hospital. He feared a different kind of hospital visit was looming, but he couldn’t be sure. He froze as he caught himself worrying over it all and dropped the troll doll. This wasn’t his problem. He had been curious and only meant to lurk because of the child’s call and her strange dark aura, but it hadn’t been so superficial. Her concerning wishes were real and she meant it with all her little human heart that hadn’t stopped booming in his ears.

The figure turned to face the girl who’d gone silent, leaning back on his hands against the dresser. “I don’t expect you to understand, but just listen, alright?”

Sera nodded, staring at the being with rapt attention and wonder.

It was endearing in an odd way. He continued. “I’m not a dream or a nightmare, or a bogeyman. I’m a fallen angel. Judging by your Bible over there on the desk, you already know a little bit about that, but I assure you it’s all bullshit.”

The girl’s eyes blew wide. “You’re a demon?”

“No.” The figure cut her off before she could continue. “A fallen angel is not a demon. We just hang with them because we don’t have a choice. I am a king of Hell, but I’m far beyond even that.” The figure’s ego shined brighter than the headlights blinding the room once more. “My name is Byleth. You’ll probably have better luck looking up Beleth since humans have spelled my name differently throughout the years. I can teach you more about this stuff, but you can tell no one I’m around.” Byleth was sure to emphasize the seriousness of the matter. “If the adults find out what you’re doing, judging by their spiritual alignment, they’ll try to stop you.”

“But mom knows what’s good and what isn’t–“

“No, she doesn’t. Not in this context, anyway.” Byleth approached the child once more and dropped onto the side of the bed. “I can tell you all kinds of things that you’re not old enough to understand that would shake your world, especially concerning them. I’m your ally right now, and judging by everything going on, I’m your only ally. Do you want help or not?” He couldn’t believe what he was considering, but the darkness that seeped from her wasn’t just from illness. It wasn’t something he saw in children, let alone one so seemingly pure. He’d considered its purpose the moment her mind opened to him and he could read her like a book. She was no ordinary ten-year-old.

Sera nodded as she remained transfixed on him. “Are you real?”

Byleth’s laughter lit up the room and would surely be heard by Cathleen, but it wasn’t the case. “Yes, I’m real, sweetie. But only you can see and hear me right now. I’ll make sure no one else knows unless it’s necessary, alright?” As the girl opened her mouth, Byleth held up a finger. “Ah-ah, no. We can’t tell mommy. Definitely don’t tell daddy. Definitely not him.” A low growl rumbled in Byleth’s chest like a tiger’s. “We’ll talk more about them later. For now, just focus on surviving and pay attention to what I tell you.”

Sera sighed as tears streamed down her cheeks. “What if I can’t do it?”

“Stop it.” Byleth quirked a brow and stared into Sera’s eyes until the tears stopped again. “You’re stronger than you think you are. Trust me, I know. You can do it.” A deafening alarm bell interrupted them both, Sera screaming in surprise as her heart boomed in Byleth’s ears.

Her shaking hand stilled the alarm bell and the tremors returned. “Can you walk me to the bathroom? If I wet the bed again mom will get mad at me.”

Byleth fell silent in a stupor and stared at the child, all emotion draining from him. What in all the Hells had he just gotten himself into?

©2021 Shane Blackheart

Excerpt from Untitled original writing

I haven’t thought of a better title for this story yet, as it was converted from a fanfiction. I made the events and characters my own and did a lot of renaming and lots of rewriting. I just had so much fun with the story and it had so much more potential, so I made it my own. The plot was already drastically different than the source, so now it’s just a matter of finishing it.

I’m also really excited because this is the first novel I’ve written with a transman as a main character. Draven is the transman in the story who is a thirty-nine-year-old writer, and he is the guardian of an eighteen-year-old punk of a boy, Lucien, who lost his parents in a car crash a year previous to the story’s events. (I mention ages so readers know all characters are eighteen or older in the context being given, although there is no mature content in this excerpt). Also to note, the picture was chosen because it best reflects Draven’s style and the feel and look of his house.

Here is a scene from the most recent chapter I wrote for it, and I’d safely rate it PG-13 mostly for language, so it’s appropriate for most audiences:

 


Lucien’s fingers slid along the smooth surface of the desk, Draven standing nearby to watch him. He looked up at the man as he remembered his first exploration of the room. There had been a drawer that was locked, and although he’d had other plans with Draven when they’d arrived home from the awkward night at the bar, his curiosities were strong. They’d grown so close in such a short time, so surely the man would divulge his secrets. “Hey, what’s in your locked drawer?”

“How did you know I’d locked one of my drawers?” Draven arched a questioning brow. Lucien chuckled.

“Remember when I snuck in here and caught you doing fun things at your computer?” Draven’s face became a darker shade of red than what it had been from the inebriation. “I, uh…” That old, creeping feeling of doing something wrong and getting caught still loomed over Lucien’s head despite he and Draven’s relationship. He licked his lips nervously. “I might have been going through your stuff.”

“Why would you go against my wishes?” Draven approached the desk, but paused as he realized how stupid it was to say. Lucien had already done much worse than go through his desk.

“I was depressed and in a bad mood. I needed a distraction because mom and dad… a year ago.” Lucien paused and his thoughts became dark. He became rapt in the surface of the desk, tracing the light as it bent across the slick wooden edges. He could hear the muffled cries and the sound of the siren, and he was vaguely aware of the phantom pain in his lower back that bothered him whenever everything came flooding back.

“Lucien?” Draven set his hands on the teenager’s shoulders and shook him gently to bring him back to reality. “Hey, Lucien? Are you with me?”

“What?” Lucien blinked hard a few times before he was able to tear himself away from the grisly memory. It was happening less and less, but any time he was careless enough to mention it, the PTSD symptoms would come crashing over him like a tidal wave. He should have continued his visits with his therapist, but all it had ever done for him was upset him even more. Exposure therapy just pissed him off. He focused on Draven fully. “Sorry. I don’t really feel so good.”

“Perhaps an early night would be best for the both of us?” Draven smiled and petted the teenager’s hair before Lucien knocked his hand away.

“I won’t be able to sleep. I need a distraction.” He returned his focus to the present and glanced down at the desk drawers, his hand drifting over the locked one. “Maybe I’ll feel better if you show me what’s in there.”

“Lucien…” Draven sighed and they stood in silence, just staring into each other’s eyes as if in an unspoken argument. After some time, Draven relented and opened the middle drawer of the desk, fishing through it until he produced a small brass key. “If you’d been more thorough, you’d have found it.”

“I mean, I would have. You just got home too early. Not that I’m complaining.” The teenager smiled slyly as he moved aside. Draven unlocked the drawer with hesitation and paused before pulling it out to reveal a large stack of manuscripts. Lucien’s heart dropped as disappointment washed over him. He’d hoped for something more scandalous or secret, but it had only been some old stories. “That’s it? Why are those locked up?”

“Their… contents aren’t something I’d want others to find.” Draven fell into his office chair and pinched the bridge of his nose. “I’m not sure if you’ve read any of my books, but they’re more respectable than those.”

“What are they about?” Lucien reached into the drawer and pulled out the top stack of papers that were held together with a large clip. The title page didn’t reveal much, other than an over-the-top unoriginal title that screamed dramatic. He scanned through the first few pages, and then flipped the rest as if they were a flip book, pausing near the middle when a particular scene caught his eye. Lucien’s breath caught in his throat as he remembered the small paper of notes he’d found that day, and it all made sense then.

Draven glanced up at him to see that the teenager was fixated. “I was never comfortable with myself enough to be with many people, so I lived vicariously through my writing.”

“This is hot, though.” Lucien blurted the words as he felt something stir deep in his stomach. The erotica on the pages in his hands was nothing short of flowery smut — the subjects engaged in things that made even Lucien blush. He dropped the manuscript onto the desk and picked up the second, just as transfixed on it as he was the first while skimming through. “And it’s amazing. Why do you care what people think?”

“People know my name, Lucien. If I were to publish something like that, I’d lose all respect.”

“Then those people would be the assholes you ignore. You wouldn’t need them anyway.” The teenager grabbed the third, smiling wide. Draven sighed in frustration.

“You’re young and you aren’t a writer. You wouldn’t understand the intricacies of the publishing world — or the etiquette.”

“So? It’s just words.” Lucien dropped the third manuscript, intent on taking them back to his bedroom to read further. “Aren’t there authors out there who use different names? What if you just changed your name for those books? Can you do that?”

“A pen name?” Draven sunk back into his chair and stared at the stack on the desk, honestly pondering the reality of that situation. It lasted all but a few minutes before Draven shook it out of his mind. “No. I can’t. It’s too embarrassing.”

“More embarrassing than what I do to you?” Lucien flashed Draven his best bedroom eyes and straddled the man’s legs over the chair.

“What you and I do is private. Those wouldn’t be.” The man’s eyes fell shut when Lucien sunk down into his lap and kissed him. He rested his arms around the teenager’s waist and gave no resistance.

“But it would be awesome to let other people see it. Even if they didn’t know it was you.” Lucien’s lips drifted over the Draven’s neck and he nipped at the skin. “Wouldn’t that be hot?”

“I’m not fond of exhibitionism.” Draven hummed with pleasure as Lucien left a bruise on his neck. The teenager rocked his hips forward to gain another beautiful sound from his guardian, and returned his focus to the man’s red eyes.

“Seemed to be cool with it earlier after we left the bar.”

“I wasn’t in my right mind.” Draven’s hands crept higher and up the teenager’s shirt to feel his thin form. “You’re not eating, Lucien.”

“I don’t get hungry.” Lucien’s voice held a tinge of irritation. Although Draven had been all for touching him earlier, he seemed to be deflecting now.

“You’re much too thin.” Draven willed away his desire and leaned back to look into his ward’s eyes. “You’re not doing well. This mess you’ve stumbled into with Grace and I can’t be helping.”

“I’ll tell Grace eventually, okay?” Lucien huffed. “Can we not do this right now?”

“You need to figure this out before it does any more damage to you than it already has. We both know you’re still dealing with other things that aren’t getting better. This is the last thing you need.”

“I’ll be fine!” Lucien slid out of Draven’s lap and grabbed the manuscripts from the desk. “Maybe if you quit this hot and cold shit it’d be easier.”

“I can’t continue this while Grace is oblivious to it. You must realize that this isn’t fair to either of us, Lucien. You can’t just run away from things that aren’t pleasant in life. You have to confront them or they’ll never get better.”

“You should probably stop drinking. You always get weird when you do.”

“Lucien, you must tell Grace.” Draven stood from his chair and approached the office door. “I can see how much she cares for you. Address it however you like, but stop playing these games. You once told me you’d like me to treat you as the grown man you are. Act like it.”

Lucien’s lips parted as if he were ready to argue, but fell silent as he was left alone in the office. Draven had never gotten so angry before — had never spoken to Lucien like he had earlier in the evening. It caused the teenager’s mind to go blank, and he was faced with a side of his guardian that he’d once found amusing in thought, but was hating every bit of now that it was a reality. He’d asked for this, and now he had to deal with it.

Tomorrow he would tell Grace. Maybe.

© 2018 Shane Blackheart

NaNoWriMo; November 2018!

Another absence on this blog, and another reason. Although, it’s an amazing reason this time (I promise)!

I’ve made the decision to do NaNoWriMo this year. If you aren’t aware of what that is, in short, it’s a challenge to write an entire 50,000 word — or more — novel in 30 days. On the more descriptive end of things, NaNoWriMo is a non-profit organization that raises money for all kinds of good causes related to writing. One, in particular, is to fund kits to send to schools that need them and to encourage younger writers. Besides that, it is an event every year in November that has been going since 1999, and millions of writers join in on the chaos every year. This year is my first.

The idea is to start with a brand new manuscript; a clean slate. You may also begin with an outline, or a part of an outline and nothing else to go on other than your imagination. Either way, after you’ve created your own profile and filled in your novel’s basic details, you’re ready to begin.

Every day, ideally, you’ll log your word count in one of two ways. There are stats you can watch to see where you are at compared to the average person, and you can also see a projected completion date determined by your average daily word count, and how many words you have left to write to complete the 50k dash (or more!). Below are my latest stats, taken as of today.

bandicam 2018-11-08 22-06-58-826

You write your novel outside of the website, and as you log your word count and interact with the site, as well as donate if you so choose, you will earn badges. There are also badges you can choose to give yourself based on an honor system, as they are achievements that can’t actually be measured in any way. For example, I gave myself the ‘Something in my eye’ badge for wringing my heart out over a few scenes or more. Sometimes writing really can be an emotional roller coaster, but that makes for some of the best writing out there.

From November 20th onward, you can claim your win by pasting the entirety of your first draft in their official word counter. They also give you the option to scramble your words if you wish, although no one is actually going to read your novel. Nothing gets uploaded to the website and your words are deleted as soon as they are counted. Once that process is complete, I imagine you’ll feel pretty good about yourself for your successes.

There are prizes, but there are no limits to winners, so be honest! They are small things like coupons to writing programs and online courses, and other little things that really aren’t a huge deal, but a help to writers to keep them going strong long after they’ve finished their NaNoWriMo novel. Personally, the feeling of accomplishment from completing an entire first draft of a novel in a month is the biggest win of being a participant. Even if you don’t complete your novel, you’ve still accomplished something great, and you still have words there that you didn’t have before. It’s even more incentive to keep going for yourself, and for the story you have to tell.

I’m well into 27k words on the eighth day, which isn’t something I thought I would be capable of. I passed NaNoWriMo by for a few years after hearing about it, mostly because I didn’t think I could do it. I sold myself short due to my own insecurities, and I was doing the very thing some people in my life have done to me in the past — I was putting myself down because of a lack of faith in myself. I believed my anxiety disorder and other mental illnesses left me unable to do much of anything, and I was destined to fail. I would become too stressed and spiral down into a mess of a human being.

Yet, it’s November 8th and I have come a long way from that mindset. On the first, I’d sat in front of my computer mulling it over. A friend from a Facebook writing group brought it to my attention again, claiming that she was doing it herself. She needed a writing buddy. I’d told her I wasn’t participating before, but on a whim, I signed up for the site and I locked myself in. I haven’t looked back.

It’s like something lit a fire under me (usually, that’s Byleth, but this time I did it myself. He and Lestan have been the best cheerleaders). Having a deadline with the goal of having fun and just letting loose on the page, not caring about editing as I went like I usually did, was freeing. The goal was to just go until it was time to stop, as editing during NaNoWriMo is heavily discouraged. All of that would come in the months to pass after ‘winning’, and the site also has a section for just that. My goal is to be able to open up that part of the site after my victory.

At 27k in after only the first week, I am certain I can ‘win’. I can safely say that if you go into this as a lover of words, stories, and a passion for the art of writing, you’ll win too. Just keep at it and don’t worry about the numbers while you’re writing. Focus on the amazing story you have to tell, and the rest will come in time.

The best of luck to anyone who is participating this year. I hope to be able to make another blog entry when I’ve finally reached the ultimate goal.

October 2018 (A conversation)

Sometimes I write out conversations between me and my alters/guides. It’s an interesting way to keep a journal, anyway. I definitely want to post more of these, but they are usually riddled with foul language because Byleth doesn’t really care about what he says. With that warning, this is what we were up to tonight. This was between me, Byleth, and Lestan.

***

“Sugar, you’re drinking and you shouldn’t be.” Byleth paced around my desk and computer chair, keeping an eye on me as my leg kept up with its nervous jitter, bouncing as if I were ready to run a marathon.

I scoffed. “I’m not drunk though. I’m still able to type.” Despite that, I did feel rather woozy.

“Rather woozy?” Byleth rolled his eyes. “You’re supposed to be picking up a pizza in fifteen minutes and you’re,” he lifted his claws in quotation, “‘woozy’.”

“Hey, it burned going down so it’s going to get me a bit messed up. Well, not messed up entirely, but numb enough to not care that my dreams are basically going to be flushed down the toilet.”

“Stop it.” Byleth latched his claws onto the back of my chair that was still vibrating with my leg’s nervous jitter. It seemed my excess energy was on a… roll? Is that even a thing? “No,” he interrupted. “It isn’t a thing. Lestan and I are walking with you when you leave. You shouldn’t have drunk straight from the bottle.”

“He’ll be okay.” Lestan crossed his ankle over his knee and leaned back on the couch. He seemed bothered, his expression darker than what his voice suggested. “The bottle will be gone soon enough and then we won’t have to worry…”

“Soon enough?! Are you expecting – and enabling – him to drink it until it’s gone to get rid of it faster? What the fuck, Lestan?”

“That’s not what I was getting at and you know it.” Lestan grew slightly irritated. “I just mean that Shane won’t buy any more after this one, right, love?”

“Right. That’s my plan anyway.” I was beginning to feel warm. The liquor had definitely kicked in. I also realized that it wasn’t such a good idea to drink directly from the bottle. It really did burn like hell going down.

“Because you’re not used to it.” Byleth left my chair and fell into the wooden one at the L part of my desk. He crossed his arms and watched me, his expression mostly blank, although I could see some sort of sympathy behind his red eyes. He snorted a laugh. “Look at you getting all flowery with your words and assuming you can ‘see what’s behind my eyes’ or some shit.” He closed his eyes and looked to the side, but soon after returned his gaze to me from the corner of his eye. “Yeah, I do care about you, you know. If I haven’t made that fucking clear enough already.” I stopped to rub my forehead but was brought back to the page. “Hey, don’t you stop writing. It’s been a while since we’ve talked and I won’t let you lose your mind and forget about this conversation too.”

“Wait.” I sighed. “We talk all the time. I just don’t always write it down.”

We write it down, sugar. You should’ve caught onto that by now.”

“Well, yes?” I guess I’d missed that part somewhere along the way when the small bouts of dissociation would happen.

Lestan chuckled from where he sat on the sofa. “Baby, it’s okay. It took you years to come to terms with who we are to you. I can understand a bit of confusion here.” He stood and came to stand behind me, ruffling my hair lovingly.

Byleth lifted an eyebrow and sighed. Cornyyyy.”

“Hey, Shane’s allowed to be silly when he’s drunk and forget a few things.”

“I’m not drunk!” I flashed a stubborn expression before I focused on the screen again. Or… was it really me focusing? I felt slightly spaced, but my phone’s alarm brought me back to reality. Byleth stood and Lestan backed away to approach the door.

Byleth was the first to speak. “It’s time to grab that pizza, sweetie. Let’s hope the guys at the counter don’t catch on to your inebriation.”

* * *

As we walked back through the front door, I set the pizza aside and pulled off my binder, threw on my shirt I’d been wearing before, and took another quick swig from the bottle of Malibu banana rum. Byleth was less than pleased, but he chuckled as he set eyes on the computer screen. I’d started to type but backtracked. “Shane, you should have kept it as a ‘tit corset’.”

“Nah. It was too ridiculous.”

“It is a tit corset. One you won’t have to worry about much longer if everything goes right.”

“Yeah… I hope.” I turned on Byleth’s playlist and settled in to eat some pizza. Like I needed to clog my arteries any more than they already were.

He reclaimed his chair and leaned his head in his hand. He seemed perturbed. “Which I am,” he confirmed. I’d taken another swig from the bottle like he encouraged me to do the exact opposite of, and I was feeling too good to care. That brought a scowl forth from the fallen angel and he sighed. “I’m just going to focus on my music and singing, and I’m going to pretend like you’re not disobeying everything that I’ve asked of you tonight.”

“Hey, we had mind-blowing sex earlier, so don’t give me a hard time.” I flashed him a judgemental look, to which he lightened up considerably.

“Oh, we did. [Redacted].”

I shrugged in response, stuffing my face with pizza. Attractive. “You’re a fallen angel. You have magic spit. We’ve been over this.”

He broke into laughter. “Let’s just hope your body is done being difficult.” He smirked. “[Redacted].”

“Like I said. Fallen angel. Magic spit,” I repeated. Lestan chuckled from where he sat on the sofa, his expression calm he watched the album covers change on TV. ‘Me and Mrs. Jones’ by Billy Paul was currently flowing from the speakers, Byleth’s corny but groovy taste in music flooding the apartment.

“Hey. Corny? Bullshit. It’s classic seducing music, sugar. At one time in history, this was the sexiest song on the radio.”

“One of them, maybe. There’s a sweet romantic vibe to it now.” I smiled, a warm and fuzzy feeling consuming me. “Awww, Byleth, you’re such a romantic!”

He laughed humorlessly and clammed up with embarrassment. “No, fuck the embarrassment part of that line.” He jabbed his claw in my direction. There was definitely a light blush to his cheeks. “No, no there isn’t! Stop. I like the classics because they make me want to fuck something, okay? No romance involved there.”

“But,” I teased, “you’re a romantic whether you admit it or not. You call me sweetie.”

“That is true,” Lestan chimed in from the sofa. He slipped out of his leather jacket. “Byleth, you aren’t fooling anyone. You’re very romantic. I saw the way you kissed Shane earlier.” He flashed Byleth a flirtatious expression.

The fallen angel was flustered. “Seriously, if you both don’t quit I’m just going to take my music in the other room and say fuck all of you.” No irritation was in his voice, however. A small smile tugged at his lips and there was a glint in his red eyes. His mood had improved despite the teasing banter and he relaxed into his chair, falling into the lyrics of the next song that had started to play; ‘Little Wing’ by Jimi Hendrix.

Silence fell between us, I eating my pizza and Lestan relaxing in the background. We watched Byleth as he sang to a different song – ‘You Don’t Own Me’ covered by Masquer. It was appropriate for a brat king such as him.

“Damn right it is, sugar. Don’t tell me what to do…. Don’t tell me what to say…” Despite Byleth being a fallen, he still had the voice of an angel. “I was an angel. The beauty of my voice or my devilishly good looks didn’t disappear because I fell.”

“Mr. Vain King.” Lestan stood from the sofa and approached Byleth, who turned in his seat to welcome the vampire. Lestan straddled his thighs while standing over him, teasing the fallen angel’s golden horns.

Byleth bit his lip. “Would you have me any other way?” He hummed with pleasure. “And you keep talking like that, mister. Call me king a few more times and I’ll make sure you won’t be able to speak. In the best way, of course.”

“Reduce me to a mumbling mess, my king?” Lestan chuckled as Byleth made more sounds of pleasure, the vampire’s hands sliding through the fallen’s blonde hair.

Hands crept back up Byleth’s horns and he huffed a laugh. “What are you trying to do? Get me so worked up I can’t sing? Make a distraction for Shane over there?”

“Maybe.” Lestan grinned and caressed one of Byleth’s horns before the fallen wrapped an arm around the vampire’s torso and pulled him into his lap.

“Alright, vampire. You’ve got a deal.”

“We didn’t make a bet.”

“As long as Shane doesn’t drink any more rum tonight, I’ll do whatever you want.” Byleth trailed a claw down Lestan’s front, causing the vampire to sigh. “Anything, sugar.”

“Wait, why is this on me?” I pouted, still buzzed, although I suspected more than that. “Do what you want.”

“Oh no, sweetie. That’s the breaks.” I sighed in response to Byleth’s ridiculous stipulations. He cocked an eyebrow. “Stop drinking and you get to see wonderful things.”

“Sorry, baby. I have to go with Byleth on this one.” Lestan ghosted his lips over the fallen’s as he turned Byleth to face him. “I’m not passing up the opportunity to have control over the brat king.”

“Whatever.” I sighed hopelessly and chuckled. “I won’t drink anymore, but don’t go overboard. I want to be able to eat my pizza.”

Byleth hummed in approval and gave his full attention to Lestan, their lips meeting in a deep and much-needed kiss. I returned to my pizza, finally deciding to let the alcohol wear off.

(For the record, Byleth’s taste in music IS corny, but amazing.)

©2018 Shane Blackheart

 

A positive absence, for once!

When I am absent, it’s usually due to a multitude of emotions destroying me from the inside out. I can’t manage more than the videos I barely take in on my favorite Youtube channels, and my creative drive has taken a vacation abroad for an indeterminable amount of time. Things have been different this time around, though.

My mind has been more stable since trying the injectable form of testosterone over the gel to get my transition going again. It had been hell during my first try with the injections, and since I’ve covered all of that elsewhere on this blog, I won’t get into it here. Long story short, it seems like a different mixture is what was needed. My mood swings, while still there in the background, have dimmed significantly. I didn’t expect this to cure my bipolar episodes or the interpersonal problems I have with my borderline personality disorder, but it has been much easier to calm myself as well as stand up for myself when I need to. I’ve had this fire within me that refuses to let me take shit from anyone. This isn’t a bad thing for someone like me, who was more likely to sit by silently while verbal abuse or any other kind of bad thing would happen. To be able to speak up when I need to has been a great change for me.

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Along with all of this, I’ve pulled my creativity back from its extended vacation. My writing is important to me again and I’ve made it my job, or at least, I’m treating it like one until I can officially call it that. I’ve become more involved in writing communities online and am getting braver about asking for critiques, and I am learning to give them. I have learned so much within the last week about publishing, editing, and I’ve gotten great advice from editors and published authors alike on how to navigate all of this. It was something I desperately needed, but I couldn’t possibly accomplish it while I remained in my little bubble of self-hatred.

Yesterday, I finished editing and looking over the fifth draft of a novella. I had finished writing it during the summer of 2015 during a manic episode while I was homeless, and it was the first book I’d written that I saw to completion. Although it was riddled with poor grammar and my sentence structure was just as poor at best, I was proud of it. Over the past few days, I went and I fixed the earlier chapters that had been started years ago. It was something I began and left to sit, unable to finish like I’d done with so many. I fixed the wording, added new things and explained others, and poured more emotion into the original draft than was originally there. After all of this and splitting it into chapters, I feel like I have a second book ready to send out.

I’m in contact with an editor or two, one of which I am certain I want to do the job for my longer book that I’d like to publish first. Hopefully I can build up a working relationship with them for my future projects. Having that thought alone makes my nerves jump in all of the best ways.

I’m no stranger to anxiety. I’ve seen it in its worst form and it’s left me sickly and bedridden. (I wrote about that here: From My Memoir – Two Years that Changed the Rest of My Life and I recorded it with Byleth and the others here.) To finally understand that there is good anxiety and be able to feel it is freeing for me. It feels the same in all of the physical sensations, but there is a different emotion attached. It’s not fear, but anticipation.

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If you want something bad enough, it will happen. I’ve been wanting the title ‘author’ officially for many years. I can only hope that my want and need for this is bad enough to make it all happen.